AN INFORMAL network of community and mutual aid groups, residents’ associations, faith-based organisations, and volunteers has sprung up across Cambridge, enabling people to safely access essentials like food and medicine during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Working alongside the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance, Cambridge Sustainable Food and local voluntary groups, Cambridge City Council has established food hubs across the city to ensure a supply of fresh food and basic supplies are available to support those most in need.
Supporting this grassroots community activity, the council has put support in place for every ward, including a Community Development Link Officer and Lead Councillor.
It has also created and staffed a central coordinating Hub to refer new requests for help to local groups, coordinating with county and national authorities where necessary.
The key shared aim is to ensure that all city residents, especially vulnerable residents, know where to turn for help and daily essentials whilst restrictions are in place.
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: ‘Food poverty is sadly not a new thing in Cambridge, and that’s why even before the Coronavirus crisis we had set aside money in budget to support the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance’s vision of a food storage and distribution hub for the city.
“At this time, we are seeing so many more people in need, and the whole city is pulling together to support them. The number of people coming forward to help their neighbours is wonderful to see. I won’t name names – every single person is a hero, and deserves the thanks of the whole city.”
Sam Dyer, Director and Co-ordinator at Cambridge Sustainable Food, said: “We’ve been working collaboratively with frontline food poverty organisations in the city – the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance – to make sure everyone who needs food is able to access food. In a crisis such as this, the last thing people need to worry about is where their next meal is coming from.”
Find more information about the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance HERE.
If you need help shopping for food and medicine, you can find contact details for your ward group HERE.
You can also email the Cambridge Hub on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 457000.
If you would like to volunteer in your ward, please find contact details for your local group HERE.